Monday, November 30, 2015

Strong Towns

 We seek an America where our local communities are designed to grow stronger in the face of adversity, to be the solid foundation on which our shared prosperity is preserved.

I had not realized that Strong Towns was a membership organization until recently. Once I did so, I joined. I'm not generally a joiner, but the Strong Towns philosophy of sustainability and of putting things like planning, zoning, and transportation into a context of how these contribute to an economically and socially self sustaining community, absent frequent infusions of IOUs, makes perfect sense to me. Indeed, in the context of how Los Alamos has discussed things like the new Smith's Marketplace, economic diversification, a walkable community, and what to do with Trinity Drive, we need to ask how projects, programs, and planning ensure that Los Alamos will persevere, regardless of what the Feds do with the National Laboratory. Having grown up in the heart of the Rust Belt (Buffalo, NY), I know firsthand what happens when the golden goose stops laying eggs.

We need to put some critical thinking into this at a deep enough level. Indeed, Kevin Shepherd of Verdunity, a Dallas based consulting firm and key Strong Towns supporter, gave the keynote at the recent joint APA/ASCE conference in Las Cruces and stressed the Strong Towns approach to truly sustainable communities. So Strong Towns needs to be present as a non-partisan think tank. I suggest you join if you have not considered it. Click up top for the full mission statement and think about it.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Annual Holiday Parade Ride--Dec 5th

From Chris Collord of the Tuff Riders

Hi all,
This year the Tuff Riders will be joining up with the Hooga Yoga bikers to promote biking of all kinds in the Los Alamos Holiday Parade. 
The parade is on Saturday, December 5th at 6:00PM, so we will meet somewhere in the Canyon School parking lot at around 5:45 (just look for all the other bikers).  All are welcome...bring the whole family!  Decorating your bike with lights or signs is highly recommended.  Smiths and Metzgers both sell battery-powered LED christmas lights for very cheap.
And just a reminder that the Tuff Riders Christmas party is December 11th at 6:30pm.
See you then,

Friday, November 6, 2015

Forming a BUG, i.e., Laboratory Bicycle User's Group

The inaugural meeting of the Laboratory's Bicycle User Group is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday (Nov. 10) in the conference room of Occupational Medicine at TA-3. The meeting is open to all Laboratory badge holders. The group's mission is to improve bicycling safety and enjoyment at LANL.

Employees can hear adventure bike presentations given by LANL adventure cyclists Matt Hardy of Environment, Safety and Health (ADESH) and Jack Killeen of SOC-Los Alamos. This meeting is sponsored by the Traffic Safety Program in Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Division and the Traffic Safety Committee.

Questions? Contact Khal Spencer of Actinide Analytical Chemistry (C-AAC) at 665-2418.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Potholes and Possibilities

Since we can't take pictures on DOE roads, here is for scale 

I sent this message to LANL. 

While bicycling on Sunday 1 Nov, I noticed, in addition to the large potholes on Diamond Drive in front of the CMR Building, a large pothole leading into the main VAP and another large pothole between Back Gate and Water Canyon on the eastbound lane of West Jemez road. Given the bad state of the roadway shoulder on the W. Jemez descent to Water Canyon, bicyclists are using the lane there. Plus, motorcyclists could be vulnerable.

Will these be fixed soon?

 Now, on to possibilities.

Lisa Dougherty and I have been batting around the idea of inaugurating a Tour de la Jemez "almost-a-century-ride" (not race) that would be combined with an easy, family ride in Los Alamos. Today I spoke to the Los Alamos Chamber Marketing Manager, Ryn Herrmann, about the idea. What I suggested is a combination easy ride that would take advantage of less busy street and bike laned streets in Los Alamos for families. The challenging ride for gonzo folks would start in Los Alamos, go out Back Gate and up NM4 through the Jemez, hang a right at NM126 in La Cueva, and go to the end of the paved road and then back again. That is about 85 miles. Not sure of the climbing but suspect it is well in excess of a mile.That is not the only option but NM126 is really quiet. I suppose an alternative would be down through Jemez Springs.
The pitch to the county would be as an economic driver (charity riders spend money on hotels, gas, and food as well as registration; one site I found regarding the Georgia 400 Century suggested around 500 a person), but I would require that a ride would have full support of the county to ensure plenty of places to eat on a weekend (when this town typically rolls up the sidewalks), and hotel availability. Ryn put me on the Lodger's Tax Board agenda for 17 Nov. to pitch the idea.
I then spoke to Brad at Fusion and Cyndi at Pet Pangea. Want to make sure that if this happens, it does not conflict with the Tour de LA. Brad was already thinking along the same lines and planning on going to the Lodger's Tax meeting.  Cyndi offered to be a brain trust since she has experience as the current Director Sportif of the Tour de LA.
The Bicycling Coalition of New Mexico has also expressed an interest in sponsoring such a ride.
So if this looks promising after the Lodger's Tax meeting, I'd like to suggest that anyone interested in pursuing this get together somewhere, perhaps over pizza or Bathtub Row beer, and discuss it further. My thoughts are we would not want to do it too early as it conflicts with the Santa Fe and Albuquerque century rides and bad weather in the mountains. Too late in the summer and we have to worry about a monsoon blowout in the early afternoon. Labor day is Red River and later in Sept. is the Tour of the Rio Grande Valley. So maybe June? But I'm not sure the market is saturated, and I think this ride would be glorious.
Holler if you are interested.